At Apple, ‘creating’ jobs isn’t the same as hiring, and paying repatriation taxes doesn’t mean all the money is coming home
Apple Inc. announced a series of plans Wednesday that were celebrated as promises to hire thousands of workers and bring home all of its overseas cash.
Well, not necessarily.
Apple AAPL, +0.09% said in its release that the company planned to “create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one.” The key word there is “create,” which Apple really likes to use when discussing jobs: The company even has a portion of its website dedicated to “job creation” that claims it is “responsible for 2 million jobs” in the United States, most of which are jobs “attributable to the App Store ecosystem.”
Apple currently employs 84,000 people in the U.S., it said Wednesday, while an October filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said that it has a total of 132,000 full-time employees worldwide, suggesting that about a third of its employees work abroad.
A quarter of the 2 million jobs Apple claims responsibility for are positions through Apple’s U.S.-based suppliers. “From the people who manufacture components for our products to the people who distribute and deliver them, Apple directly or indirectly supports hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs,” Apple says on the page.
Apple’s job-creation site lists construction, manufacturing and retail as several areas where the company both has its own employees and also has “created” jobs through suppliers. Apple promised a new campus Wednesday, and building a facility can be a big job that takes years and a lot of workers, as was the case for the company’s recently opened Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. However, the company seemed to tell Axios that its promise of a new campus would not be nearly as involved as the Apple Park project.
Apple did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for clarity on its job-creation claims.
Many also took Apple’s promise to pay $38 billion in repatriation taxes as a promise that Apple would bring home more than a quarter-trillion dollars it currently has overseas. However, Apple does not have to bring home that money, and much of it is tied up in long-term investments that would make it unlikely. The company has to pay taxes on overseas earnings whether it brings the money back to the United States or not, so paying the tax does not mean all of the money is coming home.
Cook did say in an ABC News interview Wednesday that the company was going to bring back “the vast majority” of its cash but didn’t specify an amount nor a time frame.
Shares of Apple gained 1.7% Wednesday, and are up 50% over the past 12 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.37% which includes Apple as a component, has increased 31% in that time.
Images and Content brought to you by Market Watch.